A good week for PRO assistant referees who did well on keeping flags down on tight offside decisions in all 11 matches, many good decisions all around. Also, fun fact, there were no penalty kicks this past weekend. You can also see ARs are thinking about the VAR delay with the flag, so we look at three situations where this delay was used to various degrees of effectiveness.
Wednesday night's game in Atlanta featured a deliberate vs deflection offside decision on a goal. Time to hear your opinion on it. Three really good offside decision to pick from for Call of the Week.
THIS FLAG IS ALMOST PERFECT
This offside decision was correctly changed by Video Review. The scorer was not in an offside position on the pass and the teammate that was, does not interfere. Video review was able to be used because the referee held his whistle (barely) until the ball was in the net. (The VAR went back to check and it was just after the ball crossed the line.)
The flag was slightly too early (of course, we prefer that we had gotten it right in the first place). The flag should start to go up on the shot itself, not before as you can see in the clip. The flag should be raised when the circle appears in the video (if it was actually offside).
THIS FLAG IS TOO EARLY
This correct offside decision needs the flag to be held down a little longer to allow for VAR to be used should it be wrong. It seems picky, because we are talking about barely a second of delay, but we are in the new world of video review and it is what is needed. The circle appears when the flag should be raised.
THIS FLAG IS TOO LATE
When discussing the VAR delay we are talking about situations where the shot or goal scoring opportunity is imminent. On this offside decision at midfield (right or wrong) the flag is delayed way too long. No other attacker is involved and we would rather stop this play as normally done. There is too much distance and time that make using the VAR delay unwise. But then again, if you have doubt on whether the player was offside in the first place then the flag should never go up anyways.
ANSWER - WHAT WOULD YOU DO? TORONTO V CHICAGO
In PRO's opinion this is not offside. After considerable debate it was felt that the actions of Chicago's Nikolic did not interfere with an opponent. He does make a clear attempt to play a ball near him, however he doesn't complete the second line of that consideration. "that impacts the ability of the opponent to play the ball."
The movement towards the ball is moving away from the goal and the goalkeeper. The keeper is the only player that could be possibly impacted and his saving action is not affected. One way to think of it, if you removed the offside positioned player would it change any of the actions on the play?
We think not.
This is a difficult play and if you have doubt the flag should stay down. If you want to read more about interfering with an opponent, go here.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
ATLANTA V SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Technically this play happened in Week 11, but let's start the discussion. Is this a deliberate play or a deflection? Use the comment section to give reason to your answer. The video is from the VAR's monitor so you can see the play from various angles and speeds.
Winner - Call of the Week #9 - Corey Parker
CALL OF THE WEEK #10
Call of the Week features three gems which will be difficult to choose the best from. #1 from Montreal v New England is an onside just past the midfield stripe that starts a clean break on goal, thanks to Adam Garner keeping the flag down. #2 is from LA Football Club and their first goal versus Dallas. Corey Rockwell keeps his flag down on inch thin margins. #3 is Atlanta scoring easily against the Chicago Fire, but the buildup features a nice no offside decision by Apolinar Mariscal.